Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For the love of {Marble}

I have a thing for natural materials being used in homes, and these elegant uses of marble are no exception.  I have no immediate plans for marble anywhere in our current home, but in so many designs it fits so perfectly, with its long flowing grains and smooth, cool touch.  Have you ever used (or wanted to use) marble in your home?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Inspiration: Americana

I don't know if it is the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, or the first hint of sunshine and summer weather, but my decorating juices are hinting at one of my favorite styles--Americana.  Here's some of my inspiration to share.

(Click on pictures for source information)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Science Fair

She decided to do a volcano this year.  Since there needed to be an actual experiment involved she decided to try 2 different ratios of water, and the vinegar/baking soda mix.

And sure enough....the more of the baking soda/vinegar used the bigger the eruption!  Science is fun :)


This year's science fair was especially fun because of the little "stations" set up around the gym for the kids and their siblings to try other small experiments.  We actually had a lot of fun.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thrifting for Summer Clothes

I don't just shop thrift stores for toys...it's the major source of our family's clothing.  There are a lot of reasons why it makes sense for me to do this, but the bottom line is I can get more, higher quality clothing this way.  I buy my husband Banana Republic dress pants for work, Justice jeans and skirts for my girls, and have even found Nine West shoes for myself.  

The quality of these things is so much higher than discount stores, but at way lower prices.  I got used to buying only used while my husband was a law student, and once he was working again it just never made sense to lose that skill/blessing.

To be totally forthcoming, I just brought BRAND NEW Nike running shoes last week.  And I feel good about that too.  I see using frugal skills and the willingness to buy used as a tool to help us live a higher quality life...our money going to things that are most important to us....not just to a mark-up that doesn't benefit us in any way.  (P.S.  All clothing is "used" the first time you wear it...that's how I see it, anyway).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thrifted Toys

Since we've moved a million times (well, more like 15), we try to keep all of our stuff at a minimum, and that included toys.  Now that we've been in this home a year, it's strangely starting to feel more permanent, so I've started to acquire a few more possessions.  (Plus, actually having the space to house the stuff!)

 When I found this bent, but really nice looking toy kitchen at Goodwill I swooped it up.  I thought my younger boys would get the most use out of it since it is at their height, but it looks like the girls had a few "wishIhadthattoy" issues to work out of their systems :).  And that's just fine by me.  I'm so glad they have a home to play in.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Making Sewing Stuffing (and some cute floor pillows!)

Recycle, Re-use, Renew!  This is about the "greenest" project there is.  My girls and I took the scraps and leftover strips from making quilts and Christmas tree stockings and set to cutting them into smaller strips and itty-bitty bits.  P.S. We are storing the stuffing in the covered box my little guy made.

We are collecting this "stuffing" with the hope that some day the girls can help me make some kind of poof floor pillows for their rooms to sit on to read.  Here is some examples of floor pillows:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

and the Kitchen Sink!

If you think I blog about everything but the kitchen sink,  you are now wrong....bwahaha!

Yup, we got a new sink.  And from the looks of the "before" picture I'll bet you agree we needed it.  The sink was completely scratched and stained.  I have the hardest time when I can't get things to look clean even if they are clean, so this was something I wanted BAD.

I have loved having stainless steel again.  It's so nice to have it shiny and clean whenever I clean it :).  Here's some pictures of the process:

At certain points in the process we both had opportunities to get up and stand on the counter.  I always feel glad to be useful!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mom's Kitchen Flooring Science Project

We are considering this tile for our kitchen flooring, but my #1 issue with any type of flooring right now is how easy it is to clean.  The tile we currently have has so many grooves that collect dirt and it even absorbs stains and coloring.  For example I thought it was tan when we looked at the house and found out it was a pinkish white after cleaning :/.

My two year old's favorite food is vanilla greek yogurt so I plopped some down to dry for a few days to test it's wipeability.  Although not pictured, I also took utensils and scratched and scraped as hard as I could to see how they scratch up.

Verdict?  I think this type of flooring will be a great choice.  

Now, to pick which color....

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Week of Pinterest Dinners

These are the new recipes I am trying this week:

Brown Rice and Beans with Ginger-Chile Salsa

Ginger and Cilantro Baked Tilapia

Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

If you'd like the recipes, just click on the picture to be taken to the original post.  I know the title says, "A week," but for me 3 new dinners is about all I can handle in a week, mixed with leftover nights and other random things.  Dinner is a time I get stressed but I'm really grateful for some new ideas.  Join me on Pinterest for more ideas!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Homemade Bar Stools

My husband designed and built 6 of these barstools.  I can't quite write well enough to explain how useful and exciting it is to have these.  I described to him the exact shape, style, and height I thought would be the most useful and he put together this design.  I was so amazed when I saw the first one made exactly how I wanted it. I was DELIGHTED!

After letting them sit and acclimate, we stained them with Danish Oil.   A few weeks after that I gave them 3 coats of a urethane finish to help with water-proofing and wipe-ability.

Have you ever made your own furniture?  It's been a thrill to see my hubby take up this new hobby and use things that are so sentimental to us.  We got a lot of ideas from Ana White's website and a few others.  I also have a Pinterest board full of handmade building projects we plan to do next.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Painting those High Ceilings

Once all that wallpaper was down, Casey started on the very tip-top edge of the wall...adding our new paint color.    

He found a great tool at Home Depot that is a paint edger that also slowly releases the paint too!  It's nice to have it all contained in that little thing when he is so far up in the air.

He had to come down to refill it a few times (it's in a 5 gallon bucket which is a little too heavy to just take up to the top).

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Very Last Little Bit

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed that we purchased our own scaffolding.  It's a purchase we knew we would probably need to make from the moment we first saw the house.  So finally, after months of catching up after a couple of moves, the loss of our house we were building, paying for a broken leg, and a variety of other medical bills...we caught up enough to get started...really start working on the house (slowly, still, of course).  

Yes, we've already done a lot.  But there is so much to do that for some reason getting the scaffolding felt like a turning point.

But, finally, to the real point of this post:  I have a big announcement to make!










has been removed from this house!!!  This house is now wallpaper free and on its way to being painted the color we chose.  

Oh, hallelujah.  This weekend was a great one, just due to that fact alone.  :)